Tropical Plants Reno NV
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Bushy Cordyline for Tropical Gardens
by Charlie Nardozzi
Tropical plants continue to be the rage, especially in container gardens. One of the most popular tropicals is best loved for its leaves, not flowers. Cordyline is an Australian native that features strap-like leaves. Its spiky growth adds height to a container or flower border. While most cordyline species grow into small trees, a new variety grows lower and bushier than its taller cousins.
Festival Grass' (Cordyline australis Festival Grass') grows only 3 feet tall and wide at maturity. It's noted for its basal branches that keep the plant bushy and low growing. The burgundy-colored leaves create a red fountain effect. Hundreds of small, star-like, pink flowers open in summer and add to its beauty. Festival Grass' is hardy to USDA zone 8, so it's grown as an annual in most of the country. It grows best in full to part sun on well-drained soil, and tolerates drought once established.
New Black and Gold Cannas
by Charlie Nardozzi
Seven years ago a new canna lily from South Africa took the gardening world by storm. Tropicanna' canna features bright orange flowers and multicolored leaves with pink, yellow, red, orange, and green stripes.
Now two new versions of this popular tropical plant are on the scene. Tropicanna Black' and Tropicanna Gold' have the same growth characteristics as the original Tropicanna', but different colored leaves and flowers. Tropicanna Black' features purple-black leaves and bright red flowers. Tropicanna Gold' has golden yellow flowers and leaves with green and yellow stripes.
All three cannas grow 6 feet tall at maturity -- smaller when grown in containers. They grow best in full sun on well-drained, fertile soils. Because they're tropical plants, the bulbs need to be dug and stored in fall in areas where the ground freezes in winter.
Unique Hibiscus Collection
by Charlie Nardozzi
Tropical hibiscus are impressive plants with their evergreen foliage and trumpet-shaped, brightly colored flowers. A new line of tropical hibiscus will be available in spring that offers unique colors and features.
The Bahama Bay hibiscus collection features 18 varieties of this tropical beauty. The 8-inch-diameter, bi- or tri-colored flowers are more vibrant and floriferous than other tropical hibiscus varieties. Plants in this collection also are more rugged than many other varieties because they grow on their own root systems.
Noteworthy selections include Nova' Bahama Bay, with double, red flowers highlighted with white; Amazon Queen', with copper-colored flowers with swirling petals that open to reveal a bright red interior; and Big Bird', with yellow flowers with curved back petals and maroon throats.
In USDA hardiness zones 9 and 10, these perennial shrubs can grow to 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide in the landscape. In colder areas, grow them outdoors during warm months in containers and bring them indoors in fall whenever temperatures approach freezing.